MA, MBBS, FRCS(ORL-HNS),
Editor, ENT & Audiology News;
Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon,
Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, UK
FRCS(ORLHNS) DM (Oxon),
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals, London;
Professor of Rhinology, King’s College London, UK.
In this special edition of ENT & Audiology News, we pay tribute to our late colleague, Heinz Stammberger, and the immense legacy he left to our specialty. There can be few people who have had such a profound impact on the shape of ENT surgery, and his ideas are still inspiring the current generation to push the boundaries of transnasal endoscopic surgery ever further.
It seemed an impossible task to curate a collection of articles that could capture the knowledge, passion and warmth that Heinz brought to our specialty, but our authors have not let us down. We have asked some of his closest colleagues from different stages in his career to reflect on their work together and the legacy he leaves behind. Reading the articles, it is striking that all of the authors were inspired by Prof Stammberger’s fierce intellect, but also were persuaded by the academic and practical rigour of his methods. They were all close friends, and we are very grateful that they were willing to share their memories with us in at such an emotionally charged time.
The daughter of Karl Storz starts by telling us about the circumstances surrounding the meeting of the initial pioneers of endoscopic sinus surgery. We then hear from Jim Zinreich who was instrumental in developing the radiological techniques in the sinuses that we now take for granted. When Prof Stammberger died so suddenly a few months ago, Valerie Lund wrote movingly about him, and we feature her tribute here. Never a man to rest on his laurels, Prof Stammberger was constantly striving for the next steps in transnasal endoscopic surgery, and the future looks bright, as we hear from Valentin Tomazic about where the next developments will come. Training the future generation of surgeons was always one of his priorities so, in our final article, Prof Stammberger’s close friend and colleague, Muaaz Tarabichi, explains how the Tarabichi-Stammberger Endoscopic Ear and Sinus Institute came into being. As this article concludes, Heinz will never be forgotten, and we all have a duty to maintain his legacy. We will do our best.